Melville in Love

On August 17 in the Red Barn at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead, author Michael Shelden talked about his new book “Melville in Love.” This biography discloses the secret affair Melville had with his neighbor, Sarah Morewood who served as his inspiration for at least one major character in his novel “Pierre, or The Ambiguities” and helped birth the now classic American work of fiction, “Moby-Dick.”

This program was presented by the Berkshire County Historical Society, which owns and operates Herman Melville’s Arrowhead as a historic house museum. The book is available to purchase in the museum shop.

As much a biography of Sarah Morewood as of Melville, the book offers a new look at a known friendship along with insights into the nature of the author’s production of his books. Also an inspiration to the works of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, a neighbor of both Melville and Morewood, she played a major role in the growth of women in the creative workplace writing and publishing her own poetry in a time when women were generally disregarded in that field.

Shelden, a professor of English at Indiana State University, is a well-known biographer, principally for his works on Mark Twain and the early political years of Winston Churchill. The talk, with a q & a afterward, should be illuminating, not only on its subject matter, but on the methods used by biographers in constructing the stories they tell in their own books.

For information contact the Berkshire County Historical Society at 413-442-1793 x14.